Sunday, 2 July 2017

Childhood favourites

Jacqueline Wilson
My library had a big collection of Wilson's books, and I made my way through a good chunk of them. Her books just made me happy. 😊

Anthony Horowitz
I read almost all of his books, but my faves were the Alex Rider and Power of Five series.

Meg Cabot
I've read some of Cabot's books multiple times, she was and still remains one of my favourite authors. 💕

Louise Rennison
Rennison's Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series honestly made me laugh. They are a brilliant mix of humour, romance, and teenage shenanigans.

J.K. Rowling
I've read the Harry Potter series two more times since I first read it when I was young, and I'm sure I'll be reading it again at some point. 🙌

Roald Dahl
I remember my teachers in primary school reading Dahl's books to us before the end of the day. The were so imaginative and fun.

Who are your favourite childhood authors?

Sunday, 21 May 2017

What I've been watching on Netflix

There's nothing better than unwinding in the evening with a bit of Netflix, am I right? 😜 

  • Started of watching this for the lols, because I was bored and thought why not.
  • The trailer made it seem cheesy and eye roll worthy.
  • After about 10 minutes I didn't turn it off as I had expected to, instead I continued on.
  • I ended up watching a few episodes, because it was kind of a guilty pleasure.
  • I am now on season 4 and it's no longer a guilty pleasure, I'm hands down in love with it. 💕
  • Why I'm a fan: the women in this show are multi-layered and amazing and kick-butt. Swoon worthy male characters 🙈 *cough* Conde. *cough*  The storyline is addictive and surprising. It's visually stunning. 
  • FYI: If you're thinking of watching it for the portrayal of Mary queen of Scotland's reign I wouldn't recommend it because it's not really historically accurate.

I wanted to watch a Disney movie, so I went for this since I hadn't seen it before. Overall, I really enjoyed it!

Monte Carlo
I was in the mood for a cute, feel good movie and this definitely delivered!

Have you seen any of these? What are you currently watching on Netflix?

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Upcoming books I'm looking forward to

Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta
My thoughts when I first read the summary: gimme gimme! 😍 | Publication date: 08/08/17

Never say Die by Anthony Horowitz
I loved the Alex Rider series when I was younger, so I was excited when I heard that there was going to be a new book. | Publication date: 01/06/17

Renegades by Marissa Meyer
I enjoyed Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series, and the summary for Renegades has me intrigued. | Publication date: 07/11/17

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
It still hasn't got a release date, but I'm really hoping it will be released this year. I need more Cormoran and Robin!

Are you looking forward to any of these books? 

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Why I love audiobooks

After I graduated from university I really started getting into audiobooks. Previously I hadn't been too keen, because my thinking was that there was no way I would be able to concentrate on listening to them. I thought my mind would wonder for sure.

However, I've found that I was wrong...

So, here's a list of reasons why I love audiobooks:

📍 You can listen to them while tidying your room/folding laundry. I listen to audiobooks out loud via the Audible app on my phone while doing chores, and it's a great way to get more things done. Not only am I getting through a book, but I'm also ticking things off my to-do list!

📍 Sometimes I switch between a book and the audiobook version. I do this when I want to continue reading a book, but after a long day of work I'm tired and can no longer keep my eyes open.

📍 They can help you get through your tbr pile: You can physically read one book and listen to a different audiobook.

📍 They're great for when I want to read, but can't actually make myself do it.

📍  They're also great for when you're lying in bed ill!

📍 They allow me to get through classics. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I sometimes find classics difficult to understand and become bored when reading them myself. However, when I listen to the audiobook version they make so much more sense and I'm able to get a lot more enjoyment out of them because of this. Some of my fave classics I've listened to on audiobook: Persuasion by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.

 📍 You can listen to an audiobook while you're waiting for your name to be called at the doctors, dentist, etc.

📍  They also allow me to get through books I wouldn't normally read. For example, the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. I would never have been able to get through the books because of the long descriptions and song drops, but listening to the audiobooks was such an enjoyable experience. The long descriptive passages really worked well when someone was reading to them me vs me trudging through them and skimming out of boredom.

📍 I don't have a long commute to work, but if I did I think listening to an audiobook would make the journey go quicker.

📍 I'm not really an outdoorsy girl, but if I were I might listen to an audiobook while relaxing on the beach/in the garden.

To sum up I think audiobooks are great! What's your opinion on them? 😊

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Mini reviews: Last Breath by Robert Bryndza & Air and Ash by Alex Lidell

Summary: He’s your perfect date. You’re his next victim.

When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case.

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery.

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist?

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual.

- Add to GoodReads

Sometimes as a series goes on the books kind of lose the appeal they once held. The fourth book in the Erika Foster series, however, is just as great as the others! The thing that makes this one different from the previous books is that we learn the identity of the killer quite early on, but this makes it no less thrilling. The plot moves at a steady pace and Bryndza creates a high stakes atmosphere full of tension, fear, and mystery. The development of Erika's character was well done, she's growing as the series progresses and I enjoyed seeing her try and move forward from her past. Her relationship with Peterson is a slow burn and it was well handled too, in my opinion. Overall, a great read!


Summary: After a lifetime of training, seventeen-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission—and fails.

Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battleworthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile’s blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.

But when disaster threatens the ship, Nile may have no choice but to unleash the truth that will curse her future.

- Add to GoodReads
Publication date: 02/05/17

I fell in love with Lidell's debut novel The Cadet of Tildor when it was released in 2014. It quickly became one of my favourite books of the year, so it really sucked to find out that due to a lack of sales (I think) there was not going to be a sequel. It's a book that stayed with me long after finishing it, one that I still find myself thinking about today. I'm not going to lie, I follow Lidell on Twitter and having been waiting to hear news of a sequel. That hasn't happened, however, when I saw that she was working on something new I was really excited.  Air and Ash was a decent read, but not quite as amazing as I'd hope it would be. I liked Nile's dedication to her kingdom and her love for her sibling. I did, however, find her thoughts towards a girl who befriends her on board the ship she is travelling on frustrating. She's a different kind of woman to Nile, but I saw them both as strong in their own ways. Nile, however, was a little close minded in the way that she saw her, imo. The romance was a hate-to-respect-to something-more type situation which I always enjoy. All in all, I would rate it 3 hearts.


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Unpopular opinions book tag

I've been looking for tags to participate in and the "unpopular opinions book tag" (which was was created by TheBookArcher) seemed fun!

1. A popular book or series that you didn't like.

The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. 

2. A popular book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love. 

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. I know the last book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy had many spilt opinions, but personally I LOVED it. I was so happy with how it ended, and the epilogue was everything. 💝

3. A Love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with.

Spoilers ahead...

I don't tend to read books with love triangles, but I did not see this triangle coming. I was so annoyed when Juliette and Warner from the Shatter Me trilogy by Tahera Mafi became a thing. Even more so because to me it felt like originally the author intended Adam/Juliette to be a couple, but then suddenly after book 2 she changed her mind. Adam's character did a complete 360 and became completely unrecognisable  in the novella from his POV, Fracture Me. I was so enraged by it and also the final book in the trilogy, Ignite Me. I prefer for love triangles to be up front, so I can avoid/DNF the book and not waste my time getting invested in the series. You can read my rant  review of the novella from Adam's POV here if you're interested.

4. A popular book genre that you hardly reach for.

Contemporary fiction, because I prefer my books not to be grounded in reality. Fantasy all the way! 🙌

5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.

The Darkling from the Shadow and Bone trilogy. I know a lot of people ship him with Alina, but to me he is a villain. I can't see him as a love interest considering everything he's done. 

6. A popular author that you can't seem to get into. 

Lauren DeStefano, Lauren Oliver, Maggie Stiefvater, Kiersten White, Richelle Mead, Alexandra Bracken. I could go on really...

7. A popular book trope that you're tired of seeing.

I'm going to be honest and admit that I actually enjoy tropes like the chosen one, the lost princess, etc. It' the love triangle/insta-love trope that annoys the heck out of me. For example, I could be interested in reading a book, but then if I see in a review that there's a love triangle/insta-love immediately I'm like NOPE. 😞

8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.

The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I know for sure I would not be able to get on with the mc and the romance sounds like a hot mess.

9. The saying goes "The book is always better than the movie", but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

Under the Dome by Stephen King. I've never been interested in reading the book, but my sister and I use to love watching the TV show.

What would your answers be to these questions be? Do you hold a similar opinion to me on any of the above? 📚

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Review: Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Summary: Noemi is a young and fearless soldier of Genesis, a colony planet of a dying Earth. But the citizens of Genesis are rising up - they know that Earth's settlers will only destroy this planet the way they destroyed their own. And so a terrible war has begun.

When Noemi meets Abel, one of Earth's robotic mech warriors, she realizes that Abel himself may provide the key to Genesis' salvation. Abel is bound by his programming to obey her - even though her plan could result in his destruction. But Abel is no ordinary mech. He's a unique prototype, one with greater intelligence, skill and strength than any other. More than that, he has begun to develop emotions, a personality and even dreams. Noemi begins to realise that if Abel is less than human, he is more than a machine. If she destroys him, is it murder? And can a cold-blooded murder be redeemed by the protection of a world?

Stranded together in space, they go on a whirlwind adventure through Earth's various colony worlds, alongside the countless Vagabonds who have given up planetary life altogether and sail forever between the stars. Each step brings them closer - both to each other and to the terrible decision Noemi will have to make about her world's fate, and Abel's.

- Add to GoodReads
Publication date: 06/04/17 (UK) 

When I first read the summary of Defy the Stars I was immediately drawn in as it kind of reminded me of the Partials trilogy by Dan Well - one of my favourite YA sci-fi books.

Defy the Stars is a thrilling adventure with two likable protagonists. Noemi is strong, kind, and selfless. I loved how determined she was to save her planet, and far she was willing to go to do this. Abel, a robotic mech from Earth, was just as interesting as Noemi. Although he is a mech his POV is far from boring. In fact I loved his reflections on humans, life, and the world. His unintentional humour also made me smile.

Defy the Stars is a really thought provoking read, I''ve always found stories about humans and robots fascinating. Throughout the book I was questioning things just as much as Abel . For example, does a mech have a soul when he can think for himself and feel?

Noemi and Abel's adventure from planet to planet was fun and exciting. I liked the inclusion of diversity, Noemi herself is a POC and the worlds that we are introduced to are diverse in terms of religion and race.

The romance was also well done. Noemi and Abel start of as enemies, but slowly come to understand, trust, and rely on each other. This is my fave kind of romance - all slow burn and shippy.

Overall, Defy the Stars was an addictive read. I finished it in 4 days which for me is a feat because I usually don't have much time to read due to work. In this case, however, I found myself staying up far longer than I should have. I'm both excited and nervous about the sequel!


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